American Broadway star Ashley Verma, is embarking on a new London business venture with her fitness empire DEFINE London, and gives her take on the fitness trends we can expect to see in 2018.
Barre is the word on everyone’s lips heading into 2018 as people hone in on the importance of stretching and toning the body. A signature full-body barre class incorporates a combination of postures inspired by ballet and other challenging fitness disciplines, combining an intense mix of isometric moves, thigh high glute sequences, chiselling arm and abdominal moves, and elongating stretches throughout the class. There are very few workouts that target such an array of muscle groups and barre exercises will ultimately increase strength capacity and flexibility to give you the strong, lean physique of a dancer. Barre exercise will be the buzzword of 2018, you heard it here first!
Of course, exercising in a group is not a new phenomenon, but it is a trend growing in popularity as working out becomes increasingly sociable in 2018. Many see exercise classes as being more enjoyable for their inclusive nature; specifically for beginners. Working out can become a social haven, where friends motivate and spur each other on to reach their goals, and a little bit of competition can sometimes be what people crave. 2018 will be the year of the workout buddy.
Music bears significant importance in the fitness domain, and goes hand in hand with exercise. Dance classes are designed for sculpting and toning and the prolonged high intensity is a brilliant calorie burner. A full body workout can rev up the metabolism, build strength and help to define lean muscle. It’s also amazing what the right music can do to the intensity of your workout.
Going into 2018, the wearable fitness tech market is more saturated than ever. Wearable technology such as the Apple Watch gives people a way to measure their performance, allowing them to track progress and surpass benchmarks. The fact that most are appropriately sized and fit conveniently means that an increasing amount of people are favouring them to do the maths for them. The tech you can wear to keep tabs on your fitness levels is most popular because it allows you to monitor your hard work anywhere – from the front room to the streets.
Mats are coming in for 2018 and allow for a wide range of different exercises, targeting different muscle groups. A sequence of upper-body exercises, which may include free weights, push-ups, planks and other moves to target the biceps, triceps, chest, and back muscles are all applied on the mat, helping you to intensify muscular structure and build extra strength whilst maintain long, lean lines. It’s incredibly core engaging.
Ashley recently moved to the UK to launch DEFINE London, jumping on the fitness trends taking over the nation, so we asked her to answer a few questions about wellness, routine and her favourite Sweaty Betty products!
As an ambassador for Sweaty Betty, what are your must-haves of theirs that you just couldn’t be without?
It’s an honour to be a brand ambassador for Sweaty Betty. I’m a huge fan of their ethos and I am currently obsessed with their entire new line – quite literally! Their new Power Zero leggings are a particular favourite of mine because they are so smooth. They have perfected workout wear, even beyond the studio doors. The active wear is stylish and supportive and the over coats, sweaters, and harem pants are great touches that have you walking down the streets of London with confidence. I love that Sweaty Betty, as a brand, is not afraid to play with bold colours and patterns. My personality is rather large and I love having fun workout wear to go with it.
How do you beat the January/February blues?
I move my body and so should you! The weather can be a major catalyst for dragging your energy levels down and hindering your New Year goals. I think it’s important to have a game plan. I’m also a keen advocate for the milestone approach, because I think it’s important to have clear goals. These can be met with rewards for hitting targets - because ultimately the key to beating the January blues is having an achievement to strive towards. Motivation is vitally important and support from friends and family is always helpful too. My husband and I do three spin classes a week together for something fun and different from our daily routines. Schedule in workout dates with friends so that you have somebody to drive you on. I cannot stress the importance of setting realistic goals. Far too often we set extreme fitness targets and end up crumbling at the first hurdle, which leaves us completely demotivated and often ends up with us dropping off completely. Be kind to yourself! You are given one life so love and embrace it.
What's your morning routine?
Working in the fitness industry comes with an early alarm. I prepare the night before so that I’m not running around getting things organised in the morning. When I wake up, I check my messages to make sure that all of my instructors are okay and there aren’t any emergencies. Then I make the dogs breakfast, get ready, tidy up the house and I am out of the door. I have a pretty programmed morning, and like to have a set routine. I don’t sleep much so I am generally up before the alarm and tackling any work emails that need to be done.
How do you wind-down in the evening?
Couch time with my hubby and pups is perfection! We love diving into the different Netflix series and I absolutely love a fab Bravo TV reality show.... Vanderpump Rules, Yes Please!
What's your top-tip for maintaining a healthy wellbeing?
Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to enjoy the journey. A flat tummy, 6 pack abs and sculpted arms don’t happen overnight. Be realistic with goals and be patient with yourself. I think we should all take pride in leading a healthy lifestyle, because it leads to so much happiness.